Virtual workshops provided by to department managers by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government included instructions on deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques after managers complained of working too hard.
The stress management spending was all with one company, Exco2 Incorporated, and began at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
One video session, offered by Victoria Clements, echoed a bizarre Travel Alberta campaign, wherein people are reminded to breathe, on the off chance that their lungs may have somehow forgotten the biological imperative to inhale and then exhale:
“Pause right now. Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Why is it we all forget we can do this at any time? That’s what we need to work on, remembering and implementing right in the middle of the drama of life.”
According to Blacklock's Reporter, the independent outlet which first broke the story:
Billings for the stress management seminars included $39,324 by the Department of Agriculture and $27,893 by executives at the Department of Immigration. Parks Canada management billed $13,560.
The same article hinted that overwork may not have been the real issue with the managers:
The typical federal manager works 51 hours a week, sleeps seven hours nightly and is paid $134,000 a year according to a 2013 Executive Work And Health Survey. Questionnaires found 43 percent of managers were also obese, 20 percent used anti-depressants and nine percent had “high alcohol consumption,” more than 15 drinks weekly.